Katherine and Her Austrian and German Husbands

About a week ago, I wrote the story of a Gruber girl who married a Grotz in Nebraska. Yesterday’s tale was about a Gross in Gordonville. Now, today, you will read the story of a Gratz in Pocahontas. I seem to be stuck in the “Gr” section of the German Family Tree.

Katherine Gratz was born on October 16, 1836 in Austria. Katherine was the daughter of Mathias and Theresia (Ettinger) Gratz. A record in our German Family Tree says that her father was born in Obernhard, Austria, so it is likely that Katherine was also born there (except for the fact that I could not find such a city in Austria). I am not sure when the Gratz family came to America, but it must have been before 1853. Katherine’s mother and her 20 year-old brother, Mathias, both died in 1853 and have their death records in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The Gratz family is found in the 1860 census living in the Shawnee Township of northern Cape Girardeau County. Katherine was 23 years old and still single.

1860 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Let’s now take a look at the man who would become Katherine’s first husband. His name was Johann Wallmann who was born in Goisern, Austria on April 26, 1826. If you agree that the passenger list shown below for the ship, Therese, displays the correct Wallmann family, then John’s mother was named Therese. John and his brother, Charles, both match up at the correct ages with people found in our GFT. There is also a “widow Wallmann” whose death record is found in the Immanuel, New Wells books who died in 1861 at the age of 64, which matches the age Therese would have been according to this passenger list.

Wallmann names – Therese passenger list 1857

I was unable to find the Wallmann family in the 1860 census. Then, on February 12, 1861, John Wallmann married Katherine Gratz at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. That means today would be the 162nd anniversary of this couple. There’s not much to this record…just the names of the bride and groom and the date of the wedding. It was just the 3rd marriage to be recorded in this congregation’s books.

Wallmann/Gratz marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

There is also a civil record for this occasion from Cape Girardeau County. Good luck reading it. This wedding also took place 2 months before the Battle of Fort Sumter that marked the beginning of the Civil War. The wedding also took place on President Abraham Lincoln’s 52nd birthday.

Wallmann/Gratz marriage record – Cape Girardeau County, MO

Our German Family Tree lists 5 children born to John and Katherine. The first three were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Then, in 1868, a new congregation was established in Pocahontas. That church was St. John’s Lutheran Church, and some of the charter members of that congregation were Mathias Gratz and Michael Gratz, Katherine’s father and brother, and John Wallmann, Katherine’s husband.

St. John’s Lutheran, Pocahontas charter members

The last 2 children born to John and Katherine were baptized at St. John’s, Pocahontas. The 1870 census shows the Wallmann family with 4 children. John was a farmer in the Shawnee Township.

1870 census – Shawnee Township, MO

John Wallmann died in 1874 at the age of 48. That left Katherine as a widow with 5 children. She married again in 1877. Let’s take a look at her second husband. His name was Friedrich Zorn, who was born on January 16, 1825 in Altenburg, Germany. In his case, he may have been born in a region known as Altenburg, not necessarily the city of Altenburg in Germany. A later census entry says Fred came to America in 1852, but I was unable to locate a census entry for him in Missouri until the one taken after his marriage to Katherine Wallmann.

The marriage of Friedrich Zorn to Katherine Wallmann took place on October 18, 1877 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. A civil marriage record for this event is pictured here.

Zorn/Wallmann marriage record – Cape Girardeau County, MO

The GFT lists 2 children born to Friedrich and Katherine. One was named Moritz, whose story was told in the post, Conductor and Conductress. Another child was born and died in infancy in 1880. The 1880 census entry for the Zorn household is displayed below. It includes 4 Wallmann children and one Zorn child. Friedrich was a farmer in the Shawnee Township.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Katherine Zorn died in 1883 at the age of 46. That left Friedrich as a widower with one young child of his own, and 4 Wallmann step-children. Friedrich is found in the 1900 census with his son, Moritz, and his stepson, Albert Wallmann.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Friedrich Zorn died in 1908 at the age of 83. Katherine (Gratz)(Wallmann) Zorn is buried in the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas along with both of her husbands. However, Findagrave.com does not have gravestone photos for any of them. A family tree on Ancestry.com includes the photo of Friedrich Zorn’s gravestone below.

Friedrich Zorn gravestone – St. John’s, Pocahontas, MO

Katherine Gratz and her two husbands, one an Austrian and one a German, were three of the early Lutheran settlers in the northern part of Cape Girardeau County near New Wells and Pocahontas. A few of Katherine’s children have had their stories told on this blog. Now you know the story of their mother.

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